Microfibrous silver-coated polymeric scaffolds with tunable mechanical properties†
Electrospun scaffolds of poly(glycerol sebacate)/poly(ε-caprolactone) (PGS/PCL) have been used for engineered tissues due to their desirable thermal and mechanical properties as well as their tunable degradability. In this paper, we fabricated micro-fibrous scaffolds from a composite of PGS/PCL using a standard electrospinning method and coated them with silver (Ag). The low temperature coating method prevented substrate melting and the Ag coating decreases the pore size and increases the diameter of fibers which resulted in enhanced thermal and mechanical properties. We further compared the mechanical properties of the composite fibrous scaffolds with different thicknesses of Ag coated scaffolds. The composite fibrous scaffold with a 275 nm Ag coating showed higher tensile modulus (E) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS) without any post-processing treatment. Lastly, potential controlled release of the Ag coating from the composite fibrous scaffolds could present interesting biomedical applications.